A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of being on a panel, “Are Short Stories the New Black?” Not only am I published in short stories but I’m also a publisher of the anthology Nefarious North, A Collection of Short Crime Stories. Now I’m no expert but here are a few tips to write short stories.
First off, read every short story you can get your hands on. Anthologies are a great place to start your exploration. I always say anthologies are like a box of chocolate giving you a choice of different voices to sample.
Focus on a single incident and keep your cast of characters small. If you love to create worlds, reveal a single point of life in that world.
In a short story you don’t have the word count to develop backstory so limit it and have your characters walk on stage fully developed with all their quirks and flaws on show.
You don’t have to room to develop a long story arc so short stories tend to be character driven. Therefore you really have to understand your character’s goal, motivation and conflict.
I hope I’ve given you something to think about if you decide to try your hand at writing short stories.